10 Trail Running Stories of Resilience From 2020

To kick off the new year, we at the American Trail Running Association (ATRA) have recently announced our 2021 theme: “resilience.” This guiding theme inspires us showcase the creative and innovative ways our community is staying strong in spite of a global pandemic. Trail race directors are adapting to stage covid-safe events. Brands are creating partnerships with organizations to achieve positive outcomes for under-represented groups in trail running. Influencers are responding to the challenges of pandemic living by sharing personal stories and spreading positive messages.

In this article, I take a look back at 2020 and share ten stories of how trail runners have displayed incredible resilience during the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. We look forward to 2021 and more inspiring stories like these!

How ElliptiGO is Managing Business in the Coronavirus Era – ATRA Member ElliptiGO is one example of how with the right attitude you can continue to grow your business, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. ElliptiGO sales have actually been on the rise and the company has done a great job supporting their employees and providing remote work options.

Pack Burro Racing Community Stays Strong During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Although only a small subset of the trail running community, burro racers have set an example for the rest of the running community about how to stay strong and connected during the pandemic. They have had to cancel many of their major competitions, but continue to train their burros and compete in smaller competitions to keep the sport alive and well in Colorado, USA.

Social Distance Learning Videos with Nano on Trails – The pandemic has given many of us extra time to learn new things. Our executive director Nancy Hobbs shares her wealth of knowledge in a YouTube video series on a wide variety of topics including Scrabble, homophones, fractions, geology and much more!

Trail Racing in the COVID-19 Era: Interviews From Bryce Canyon Ultras – Read post race interviews from one of the first major trail races to be hosted in the US during the pandemic. Racers share their experiences and how the Bryce Canyon Ultras (photo: top of page) was able to adapt, put on a safe event and inspire other races to do the same.

Eight Treadmill World Records Fall at the Chaski Challenge Festival of Records – Even with many of the most highly competitive trail running competitions cancelled, elite runners have continued to push boundaries and challenge themselves. Read about the impressive performances by trail runners, including Mario Mendoza, Tyler Andrews, Regina Lopez, and Rennee Metivier at the Chaski Challenge Festival of Records.

Inaugural Bears Ears Ultra a Success in the COVID-19 Racing Era – This was the first race I attended during the pandemic and I was very impressed by how race organizers, Mad Moose Events, took precautions to put on a safe event. This was also a completely new event for the company, which shows how even during a pandemic race directors can be growing their business and coming up with new race ideas.

No Race? No Problem! Alejandro Venzor Runs 100 Miles Solo – Like many of us, Colorado Springs resident Alejandro Venzor had his race cancelled. Rather than call off his racing season, Venzor decided to run 100 miles on his own! This is a story about sticking to your goals and being flexible, even when nothing seems to go your way.

Tayte’s friend Alejandro Venzor enjoying a hike in Southern Utah.

How to Improve Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic – The pandemic has affected the mental health of many trail runners. In this article, I shared my personal resilience practices for improving mental strength and things you can do to stay positive when things get rough.

Guidelines for Trail Running Events in the COVID-19 Era – One of the highlights to come out of the pandemic is the teamwork and comradery among race directors in the trail running community. In this article, you can read the guidelines for putting on safe trail races in the COVID-19 era produced by a team of eight of the country’s most prominent trail race directors. Their hopes were to inspire race directors across the country to keep their events alive and their participants safe.

US Trail Running Conference Pivots to Hybrid Format for 2020 – Demonstrating its resilience, the 2020 US Trail Running Conference added new virtual features to its normal in-person format. Despite less in-person attendees, the virtual additions allowed for many positive changes to the conference, including a remote presentation by Kilian Jornet from his home in Norway, recorded sessions, and the launch of a new webinar series to keep race directors and trail runners connected between now and the next conference on October 27-30, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

You can follow Tayte’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you liked this article, read even more of Tayte’s articles on our website.